Year 2024, Volume 53, Issue 1

Effect of three types of stretching on the elasticity of the hamstring muscles. Randomized clinical trial

del Blanco-Muñiz JA, Calleja-Rodríguez A, Pérez-Alcalde AI, Sosa-Reina MD, Fernández-Rodríguez F, Miñambres D, López-Collado E, Gilsanz E, Jaen Crespo G.


Introduction: the relationship between the elasticity of the hamstring musculature and the joint range of the hip has been demonstrated; therefore, in the present study we have set ourselves the main objective of comparing the effectiveness of 3 stretching methods in gaining elasticity of this muscle: Static Stretching, Muscle Energy Technique and Global Postural Re-education. As a secondary objective, we considered the possible relationship between the shortening of this muscle and low back pain. Material and method: a prospective longitudinal single-blind randomized clinical study was conducted following the recommendations and criteria of the Consolidated Standards of the Reporting Trials criteria (CONSORT). The sampling was for convenience. 148 subjects aged 22.50 (21-24) were recruited for the study, all of them students of the Osteopathic Physiotherapy course of the Degree in Physiotherapy at the European University of Madrid. For the analysis of the results of each intervention, 4 variables were used: finger-floor test, seat and reach test, knee angle and straight leg raise. Results: the 3 stretching methods were equally effective in gaining elasticity of the hamstrings compared to the control group, finding no significant differences between them; Regarding the second objective, the results showed that the subjects with some episode of low back pain in the last year presented a greater shortening of the hamstrings in the straight leg raise test compared to the subjects without previous episodes of low back pain. Conclusion: the 3 stretching methods are effective in increasing the elasticity of the hamstring muscles and gaining hip ROM; the relationship between hamstring shortening and previous episodes of low back pain should be further investigated.

Keywords: Muscle stretching, exercise, hamstring muscles, low back pain.